What Causes Your Homes Water Main Valve to Face Issues

Ellie Brooks

Written By Ellie Brooks

Published 06/29/23
What Causes Your Homes Water Main Valve to Face Issues

Your home's water main valve is critical to your plumbing system. It controls water flow into your home and prevents water damage and flooding. Unfortunately, like any mechanical system, your main water valve can face issues that affect its function. Let’s take a look at some common causes of water main valve issues in your home.

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  • Age - Like any mechanical component, your water main valve can wear out over time. As the valve ages, it can become stiff, corroded, or damaged, making it difficult to turn on or off. If your water main valve is old and worn out, it may need to be replaced to ensure reliable operation.

  • Sediment Buildup - Sediment buildup is a common problem in areas with hard water. As water flows through your pipes, minerals such as calcium and magnesium can accumulate, causing blockages and restricting water flow. This buildup can also affect your water main valve, making it difficult to operate. If sediment buildup is the cause of your valve issues, you may need to have your pipes flushed or install a water softener.

  • Frozen Pipes - Frozen pipes can be a common problem in colder climates. When the water in your pipes freezes, it expands, putting pressure on your pipes and valves. This pressure can cause your water main valve to crack or break, leading to leaks or complete failure. To prevent frozen pipes, insulating your pipes and keeping your home heated during the winter is essential.

  • Tree Root Intrusion - Tree roots can be a significant problem for your plumbing system. As trees grow, their roots can intrude on your pipes and valves, causing blockages and leaks. If your water main valve is affected by tree roots, you may need to have your pipes repaired or replaced.

  • Pressure Surges - Water pressure surges can occur when there are sudden changes in water flow, such as turning on a washing machine or dishwasher. These surges can stress your water main valve significantly, causing it to fail over time. To prevent pressure surges, you may need to install a pressure-reducing valve or have your plumbing system inspected by a professional.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Locating and Shutting Off Your Home's Water Main Valve

Water damage is one of the most common and costly problems homeowners face. Whether it's a burst pipe, an overflowing toilet, or a leaky appliance, the results can be devastating. In an emergency, locating and shutting off your home's water main valve is crucial to preventing extensive damage. 

Step 1: Know Your Home's Water System

Before locating your water main valve, you must understand your home's water system. Your home's water supply line is typically connected to a water meter, which is located near the street or sidewalk. The water meter measures your water usage and allows the water company to bill you for your usage. The water line then runs from the meter to your home, connecting to your main water valve.

Step 2: Locate Your Main Water Valve

The main water valve is usually located near the water meter, typically in the basement, crawlspace, or utility room. The valve is usually a wheel-shaped knob or lever that controls the flow of water into your home. If you cannot locate the valve inside your home, it may be located outside near the water meter. The valve may be buried underground or in a heated valve box in colder climates.

Step 3: Turn Off the Water Supply

Once you have located your water main valve, turn it off by turning the valve clockwise. If the valve is a lever-style valve, flip it to the "off" position. If it is stuck, you may need a pair of pliers or a wrench to turn the valve. Turn off all faucets and appliances that use water to drain any remaining water in the pipes.

Step 4: Check for Leaks

Check for leaks or drips after turning off the main water valve. If you find any, turn the valve back on briefly to determine the source of the leak. If the leak is coming from a specific appliance or fixture, turn off the valve leading to that appliance or fixture.

Step 5: Contact a Professional

If you cannot locate or turn off your main water valve, or if you encounter any problems, contact a licensed plumber for assistance. A professional plumber can help you locate your main water valve and make any necessary repairs.

How Water Damage Can Affect Your House if Not Dealt With in Time 

Water damage can cause significant harm to your home if not dealt with promptly. It can damage your belongings and cause structural damage to your house. Let’s discuss some of the ways water damage can affect your home if not dealt with in time.

Mold Growth

Mold thrives in damp and moist environments and can grow rapidly in areas affected by water damage. If left untreated, mold can spread throughout your home, causing health problems for you and your family. It can also damage the structural integrity of your home, causing it to weaken and deteriorate over time.

Structural Damage

Water damage can cause significant structural damage to your home. Water can weaken the foundation, walls, and floors, leading to cracks, warping, and even collapse. This can cause your home to become unsafe to live in and require extensive repairs.

Electrical Damage

Water damage can also damage electrical systems in your home, which can lead to power outages or even fire. Water can short-circuit electrical wires, causing damage to appliances, fixtures, and other electrical components. If you suspect any electrical damage, it's essential to turn off your power supply immediately and seek professional help.

Health Risks

Water damage can cause various health problems, including respiratory issues, allergies, and infections. It can also cause mold and bacteria growth, which can lead to serious health problems. If you or a family member experience any symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, or breathing difficulties, seek medical attention immediately.

Decreased Property Value

Water damage can significantly decrease the value of your property. If you plan to sell your home, you may need help finding buyers if it has a history of water damage. Even if you manage to sell your home, you may get a partial market value due to the injury.

The Role of a Home Warranty

A home warranty can be a valuable resource for homeowners when troubleshooting issues with their water main valve. With a home warranty in place from a good provider, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of having a dedicated service expert who can assist with the diagnosis and repair of problems related to the water main valve. 

When facing issues with the valve, homeowners can simply contact their home warranty company, who will dispatch a qualified technician to assess the problem. The technician will have the necessary expertise to identify the cause of the issue and provide the appropriate solution, whether it's repairing the valve, replacing it, or conducting any other necessary repairs. 

Having a home warranty company can provide peace of mind, knowing that professional help is just a phone call away and that the costs associated with troubleshooting and fixing the water main valve are covered by the warranty, reducing potential financial burdens for homeowners. Explore Liberty Home Guard’s offerings on our website or call (866)-431-0271.



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